What Are The Things You Use To Help Calm And Soothe You?

I've had a clallenging time of things lately, both personally and outwardly. I find myself drawn to certain things and activities to help calm me, much like a cat will knead their paws on a blanket or their owner's tummy. It's a repetitive self soothing thing.


Lately I've been rewatching over and over the Adagio of George Ballantine's Symphony In C, from the George Bizet score, with Allegra Kent and Jacque d'Amboise as the leads. It's so hypnotic, gentle, mysterious and serene.


I've been watching AbFab reruns a lot too, even though I've seen most of them 10 or more times.



When I'm troubled I read Naomi Novak's Temeraire book series over again as well as the James Herriot books.


I take vigorous walks.


I eat my comfort foods of spaghetti and box mac-n-cheese.


What are some of the things that you do when to ease and calm yourself?

Comments

  • That's George Balanchine. Doh!
  • I am knitting a queen-sized blanket out of all the leftover yarn I have. I do that while watching The West Wing. It's very soothing. 

    I drink copious amounts of tea, with lots of milk and sugar. 

    Wine. All of the wine. 
  • I go for walks and while I'm walking I either birdwatch (great in Texas, lots of birds year round) or I mentally furnish one of my several dream homes.  In my imagination, I own a tiny villa on a lonely cliff in Italy, a supermodern apartment in NYC, a condo in a historic building in Barcelona, a horse ranch in California, a cabin in the redwoods of NorCal, a sprawling orange plantation (can I use the word plantation?) in south Florida, and an imposing house on one of the Winter Park lakes near my parents' place.  Decorating them on an unlimited imaginary budget is so much fun!  As is going through IKEA and ScanDesign and various other design catalogs/websites to find pieces to put into said imaginary dwellings.

    I go to the gym (weirdly soothing, if not relaxing) too, or do free weights at home.  It makes my brain feel good for my body to feel good, and I've been sleeping much better when tired out with exercise.

    Sometimes I close all my doors and windows, cook up some comfort food, put on a comfort movie (Bubble Boy, When Harry Met Sally, Sahara, Legally Blonde, etc) and curl up on the couch with my Kindle or just half-snooze.

    I love sewing, but I've put a self-imposed moratorium on any sewing until I've finished a particular part of my thesis, so I need to get the drawings done (problem is getting them done *right* before I start digitizing them) so I can sew again.

    And painting.  I'm not very good, but slapping paint on a canvas is soothing, mostly.
  • I smoke cigarettes.  Not healthy, but soothing.  Working out also calms me (quite a contradiction with the smoking though).  Grooming and riding my horse.  Nothing like a horse to take you out of the unhappiness.  Play with my kitty.  Crafting--I'm a paper crafter and lately have been into watercoloring stamped images.  Reading. 

    I also have comfort tv shows.  The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, My Name Is Earl, the first 4 seasons of Project Runway.  Nothing takes me to my zone better than watching any of those and eating a big bowl of popcorn with real butter.
  • Angus :)
    Nothing better.
  • Good Things:
    Cuddle my kitties
    Clean my house
    Work out
    Binge movies

    Bad Things:
    Sleep ( a lot)
    Eat ALL the things, especially chocolate, crunchy or fried things
    Shop

    I'm trying t recognize when I'm stressed and do more of the Good Things versus the Bad.
  • Yoga and hiking. I've found a regular class that is close enough that I walk to the studio and then stop at a small gelato shop for an iced chai on my way home. It is my weekly treat to myself. 

    I take my yoga off the mat a lot with breathing exercises and posture modifications. Often a deep breath and long spine will give me a boost of energy or confidence that is needed in the moment. A few silent "oms" in my head are very calming and centering.

    On a smaller scale and this is something I've never shared with anyone. I was a childhood thumb-sucker. The thing I found the most soothing about it wasn't the actual thumb-sucking but rather, gently rubbing my index finger on the soft hair on my upper lip. I still occasionally catch myself doing this when I'm relaxing or bored. 
  • Sugar Free Popsicles, the dog park...
  • (Just gonna borrow @Milaxx 's setup)

    Good:
    Reading fantasy series
    Taking walks in the sun
    Scrolling pretty design blogs

    Not-So-Good:
    Pasta
    Wine
    Picking at my cuticles...and the skin around my nails...and basically my first knuckes are now covered in constant, tiny cuts that my children kiss because, well, they're boo-boos.
  • edited February 2017
    Going for a long run
    Getting a massage, manicure or pedicure
    Having a Golden Girls marathon
    My favourite podcasts: T-Lo, What's the Tee with RuPaul and Michelle Visage, Out on the Lanai.

    Bad would be anything carb and chocolate related. My mind and soul says there's no such thing as too much, my clothes and scale disagree. Also, impulse buys at Marshalls.
  • edited February 2017
    Running, reading blogs, playing with my silly cat, listening to music, binge watching shows.

    My favorite thing to do is to get on the zooniverse website and work on different projects. I absolutely love identifying animal trap cam photos for Panthera. Good way to help out!
  • edited March 2017
    Also adding my skincare regime. It's not quite the Korean 10-step system, but I enjoy making the time for it. I find it therapeutic, but also very indulgent and pampering to take that kind of time out of your day and just devote it completely to yourself. 
  • Ooh I was thinking about this the other day - because I caught myself mentally arranging my future bookshelves.  When we move out of my parents house I really want to get tall bookshelves (right now I have small ones) and I was thinking about what I'm going to put on the bottom - so the Things can grab them - and what will go slightly higher - I don't TERRIBLY mind if they get to them, but I want them to work for it - and what will be up top - what I want to control their access to.  It was very calming to me, for some reason
  • Ooh I was thinking about this the other day - because I caught myself mentally arranging my future bookshelves.  When we move out of my parents house I really want to get tall bookshelves (right now I have small ones) and I was thinking about what I'm going to put on the bottom - so the Things can grab them - and what will go slightly higher - I don't TERRIBLY mind if they get to them, but I want them to work for it - and what will be up top - what I want to control their access to.  It was very calming to me, for some reason
    Books are awesome though, so it makes sense.  My two cram-jammed bookcases just make me sad because the books all cry out to me, "Why aren't you reading us?" and I have to say, "I can't yet! I haven't finished my thesis!"

    That is not soothing.
  • Ooh I was thinking about this the other day - because I caught myself mentally arranging my future bookshelves.  When we move out of my parents house I really want to get tall bookshelves (right now I have small ones) and I was thinking about what I'm going to put on the bottom - so the Things can grab them - and what will go slightly higher - I don't TERRIBLY mind if they get to them, but I want them to work for it - and what will be up top - what I want to control their access to.  It was very calming to me, for some reason
    Walking through my dream house works for me.

    I will never own this house - it's just in my head. But arranging the rooms and choosing furniture and art for it soothes me when I am awake at 3am.
  • I decided costs be damned and booked myself into a nice Air BnB in the Hudson River Valley for a 3 night mini-vacation during the girls' April school vacation week. They will be at my mother's and I will be mostly sleeping and unplugging and wandering around a quaint little town. 
  • I decided costs be damned and booked myself into a nice Air BnB in the Hudson River Valley for a 3 night mini-vacation during the girls' April school vacation week. They will be at my mother's and I will be mostly sleeping and unplugging and wandering around a quaint little town. 

    Sounds fantastic. I'm one of those people that when surrounded by too much stimulation, emotion or conflict, goes into full on retreat mode. I need silence, solitude and reflection to recharge. Your three days in the Hudson Valley sounds so wonderful.
  • Milaxx said:
    Meth?

    Ha!


    Isn't that an upper?
  • I'm toasting myself a bacon avocado sammich and watching English Premeire League soccer and pretending there's nothing wrong with my life or the world right now.
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